thanks to Civil War historian Bruce Nichols at email@example.com
for sharing this interesting story!
During mid to late
September 1862 two local ladies, Misses Mildred Elizabeth
"Lizzie" Powell and Margaret "Maggie"
Creath, used a carriage to travel from Monroe County to
Hannibal, Marion County, and purchase 50,000 percussion caps
for the guerrillas or Rebel recruits of the area. These
young women were bedecked in "rebel colors",
wearing pistols and traveled in the company of guerrilla or
Rebel recruiter CPT Clay Price while giving speeches in
support of the Confederacy around Monroe County.
Union authorities in the area had no choice but to arrest
the attractive but spirited pair in late September and
placed them in a form of house arrest at Elder Creath's
home. They were permitted this form of parole provided they
"abstain from writing and talking treason". No
guards were placed over them provided they follow those
directions. Later, Miss Powell was permitted to remain at
liberty provided she remain in the town of Hannibal.
Eventually the pair was banished from the state, probably in
1863 when that became a favorite method of handling
troublesome southern citizens in Missouri.
“…two noted Confederates were captured. They were
accused of conveying information and of furnishing arms and
ammunition to the Rebels. There may have been some truth to
the charge brought against them. ‘The story goes, that
beautiful and highly educated, and enthusiastic Rebels
“borrowed” a brand new five-hundred dollar carriage from
a citizen, friendly with the cause, and no escort, except
for a negro boy, for the “driver” went to Hannibal some
sixty miles distance, safely returning in a few days, the
carriage loaded with ammunition, navy revolvers, and other
needful supplies for the Rebels. The supplies were safely
hidden away, and the Federals only succeeded in capturing
the carriage, which they confiscated, and the girls. These
they held, separately, in solitary confinement for some
time, in an old church of the neighborhood, they sent them
as prisoners to Hannibal, finally banishing them from the
Missouri State Militia
December 13, 1862
HQ Second Cavalry
Northeastern District of Missouri.
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your order of the
12th ordering full statement of causes of arrest
of Misses Lizzie Powel and Maggie Creath and a report of the
manner of their confinement. Having no official connection
with these young ladies or control over their detention I
called upon Colonel Strachan, late provost-marshal general
of their district, whose reply I have the honor to
(enclose). The active disloyalty of these two women is
notorious and their beauty, talents and superior education
have made many a man a bushwhacker who except for their
influence would have been an honest man. They are even
openly and persistently disloyal. I regard them as each of
sufficient importance to either justify a strict
(surveillance) or banishment from the state.
I have the honor to be your (obedient) servant,
Brigadier-General, Missouri State Militia
December 13, 1862
Sir, In answer to your inquiries about Misses Powell and
Creath, the evidence sent to the office from Doctor Hueston,
near Santa Fe, I think, and several others, established that
these young ladies had taken a carriage of Armstead Botts of
Monroe County, driven it to Hannibal and brought out under
the protection of the petticoat flag a (quantity) of gun
caps, some 50,000 and other essentials to the guerillas.
Miss Creath made quite a sensation in Monroe County,
traveling with one Clay Price, a noted captain of guerillas,
dressed in rebel colors and a brace of rebel pistols
ornamenting her taper waist. Their influence, being young
ladies of large talking propensities, was particularly
pernicious, they openly declaring that they acknowledge the
authority of no Government but that of “Jeff Davis, the
noblest and wisest man that ever graced a presidential
chair.” Their causes were submitted by me to Colonel
Grant, provost-marshal general and he advised their
banishment from the State, but gave me no written order to
that effect. The manner of their detention has been on their
personal parole that they abstain from writing and talking
treason. They remained at the home of Elder Creath without
guard and Miss Powell has since been allowed the liberty of
Hannibal, her native town.
I am, very respectfully,
William R. Strachan
Sources: "O.R." series 2, vol. 5, p. 78; C.M.
Farthing, "Chronicles of Monroe County," 1904 as
reprinted in 1997, pp. 29-30; Missouri Chapter of United
Daughters of the Confederacy, "Reminiscences,"
about 1913, pp. 149-183.